1. Sending a friend request to a crush.
This is what we girls like to call Putting Ourselves Out There; Making The First Move; what have you. Show us some dignity and press the accept button for fuck’s sake. If you don’t, we’ll start feeling kind of insecure.
2. Walking home alone at night.
Personally, I find walking home alone at night to be much more anxiety-provoking if one is stoned, though I also recently discovered that a sober and solo nighttime walk home is really just as distressing. Often times, no matter who it may be, a shadowy figure approaching you in the dark, empty side street is definitely a rapist. At the very least a mugger with a proclivity for kidnapping. Sometimes we will cross the street to avoid said (suspected) mugger, trying to make it look like we really did have to weave through cars to cross the street at the exact moment you and I were about to pass one another. Then, when he doesn’t mug us and is long gone, we’ll start to feel even more disquieted by the fact that we could be so judgmental and batshit nuts to a normal and harmless pedestrian
3. Condom breakage.
As if the whole asking to put on a condom, halting sexy time, and turning on the lights as if someone is shining a spotlight on your naked body wasn’t enough. And once the condom is on, the anxiety doesn’t simply stop there. Rather, our concerns transfer over to the fate of dear condom. The slightest snapping sound will send our blood pressure soaring, leaving us unable to enjoy sex, convinced as we are that we’ll be pregnant with your ugly baby in no time. And then, when the sex is done, our anxiety will prompt us to ask him if we can examine the semen-filled condom still on his dick, just to make sure it didn’t break, ensuring a killing of the mood.
4. Leaving the house.
Dudes leave the house willy-nilly, with nary a quick pocket search to make sure they got their keys. I attribute this nonchalance to the fact that, should these guys get locked out of their apartment, they’ll probably be able to kick down the door. Girls don’t have it so easy.
For some, leaving the house looks like an episode of MTV’s True Life: I Have OCD. We never definitely have our keys; we only have vague, untrustworthy memories of checking to see if we have them. We need to make sure we have an extra emergency tampon, coconut water, and lipstick because we never know when we’ll need to get freakay. And only thirty minutes later, after we finally make it out of our house, do we realize that we forgot our phone.
5. Peeing after sex.
Guys have it so easy. After sex they’re just so relaxed, feeling sleepy, usually sprawled out on the bed bearing a disgustingly happy grin. Whereas, at about this time, us women are usually thinking about peeing. You see, if we don’t pee within like 5 minutes post-sex, then we risk getting a crippling UTI. Which feels like we are pissing ourselves, constantly, during our every waking moment. Running off to the bathroom immediately after sex already looks kinda weird; we’re already kind of worried that you’ll think we’re kill-joys with no ability to cuddle. So maybe we’ll stick it out and force a fake cuddle for 30 seconds, all the while our mind is racing with cranberry juice, d-manos pills—ANYTHING to stave off those dreaded UTIs. Then, when we finally make it to the toilet, we plop down and queef. Which brings me to my next anxiety trigger…
Dear men everywhere: women have zero control over their queefs. Think of it as epilepsy and maybe then you’ll be a tad more empathetic about the air leaving our vaginas. I’m pretty sure that if people with epilepsy could control their seizures, then they would capitalize on that. Well the same goes for women and queefing. Think about it: who in their right mind would be like, “Oh, queef, you trying to pass through as dude is performing cunnilingus? No problem-o! Go right ahead!” No one is the correct answer.
Dear men: you were startled by our queef? Well guess what: we were startled by our queef too. We literally have no clue when these shits want to rear their little heads, we’re given zero warning, and have literally no means of controlling them. For the love of god, cut us some slack.
7. Period Mishaps.
As women, we are born with some unfortunate biological traits that men don’t have to worry about. And leading the pack is our period. “She’s acting so bitchy today. Must be on her period,” a guy will sometimes say in response to an irritable woman, thinking they understand what it means to have your period. Except, dear men, being bitchy is usually the least of our concerns. It certainly comes after leaking through our clothes or worrying if we’ll have to deal with a constantly-bloated everything when we’re on vacation.
8. Ordering food on a date.
“How are you going to go on a date when you’re older?” my parents used to ask my 7-year-old self. And I could never reply because I was busy shoveling spaghetti into my mouth with my hands. Now, though, it’s not the whole eating-with-hands thing that I worry about when I go on dates. It’s deciding what to order.
“Whiskey, dry, on the rocks,” a dude recently ordered on a date—so sure of himself, so sure of his whiskey! “Ummm, Ill have a Bellini?” I heard myself say. Never mind the fact that I’ve never ordered a Bellini in my life, it costs an obnoxious amount, and champagne makes me want to hurl chunks of my breakfast onto the nearest human. But I still ordered it, proving that stress will compel us to do some really odd things.
Something else – you may know how to eat a burger like a champ, but order one on a date and you risk the possibility of eating it like a drunk Hasselhoff. For instance, I love oysters. I’m also great at eating them. But put me in a fretful, first-date-like situation and I will disappoint you deeply. It’s only in these stressful circumstances that your normally-stellar oyster eating habits turn sour and you end up with a nipple-looking, semen-like, vagina-textured thing hanging from your bottom lip.
9. Construction workers, up yonder.
A woman living in a city has the pleasure of being hissed at—something that men are lamentably not privy to. It takes only a week to learn a street harasser when you see one and that construction workers have a real knack for making us feel exposed and slightly sexually harassed. And so, as a woman, walking on the street and spotting a construction site up ahead, our heart will often race a little faster, our strides will become a little quicker, and our sweat mustache will become significantly more pronounced. Because, well, we’re about to be hissed at. And while this is sometimes a reminder that we still got it, the attention and exposure is also distressing.
10. The gynecologist.
So. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’ve decided: I would take one root canal a year for the rest of my life if it meant never going back to the gynecologist. You see, unlike the regular doctor, women these days go into the gynecologist knowing that, if not now, we will at some point surely contract HPV, a virus that makes the threat of cervical cancer much more likely. Yay.
But that’s not all we have to worry about at the gyno. There are STDs, that whole metal-rod-being-shoved-into-us thing and, of course, AIDS. Also one more thing I recently found out: while discussing with my girl friends the woes of the gynecologist I was like, “And don’t you just HATE it when she’s all, ’you’re about to feel some pressure in your anus,’ and then fingers your butt?” I was met with blank stares. Apparently no one else I’ve spoken to experiences this at the gynecologist, increasing my anxiety twofold.
This might not apply to all girls, but I know there are some ladies out there who get all uneasy when they go to the hair salon. I’ve already left the salon once with a choppy bob that could kill Jared Leto in his sleep, thank you very much. Some hairdressers are of the opinion that you would just look “so much better” with hair up to your ear, and take it upon themselves to make this happen even if you expressly said “just the motherfucking split ends! ” Which is why I haven’t gotten a haircut in over three years now. I cut my own hair, over my own sink, thank you very much.
12. Going on a shoot with Terry Richardson.
I’m no Sky Ferreira but I imagine that being asked by Terry Richardson to come to his studio would be massively anxiety-provoking. Because, on the one hand, he’s a famous celebrity photographer and it would be kind of cool to put on his glasses while giving a thumbs up. And yet, on the other hand, it’s pretty much established that going to his studio means getting sexually harassed. And then there’s that little problem of not being comfortable with baring your jigglies to the world.
I imagine the same goes for Ryan McGinley.
13. Bikini Waxes.
It’s not so much the entire activity of getting a bikini wax that’s anxiety-provoking, but rather the 3-second moment before they rip off the strip that’s inside your vagina—a moment fraught with anticipation and trepidation. Personally, I’d much rather the waxer just goes for it without telling me or prepping me. Because it’s mostly the whole “OK. Now relax. Take a deep breath…” that makes me seizure-y.
14. Face mask rash.
One of my favorite things about going home is rummaging through my mother’s cosmetics and trying out all of her new beauty and face products that I’m too poor to afford. Sometimes, however, I go a little too HAM, pile on three different masks at once, and then wash it off to find a scabies-looking rash eating my face. It’s moments like these that I’ll call my doctor and ask him if I can up my Zoloft.
15. Being asked to send a sexy pic.
There is absolutely nothing that tickles me more than receiving a dirty pic from a guy I barely know. That said, there’s nothing more anxiety-provoking than being asked to send a sexy pic by a new crush. Worrisome thoughts that tend to subsequently run through my head:
- What does he want? Butt? Boobs? Damnit, having boobs would really come in handy right now. I can’t send him a close-up of my areola can I?
- How do I physically take it? I don’t have a full-length mirror. Just one over my couch. Do I stand on my dining room table to get the right angle or is that too thirsty-looking?
- What will come of this photo? What if I decide to go into politics? Run for president? FML.
16. Post lip wax.
As Sarah Silverman noted, nothing feels quite better than a naked upper lip post-lip wax. “You can actually feel the wind on it,” she said. Yet at the same time, it is also a perfect opportunity for insecurity and paranoia. Post-lip wax, if we can’t run straight into a cab that will then take us home, us women tend to worry whether it’s obvious—as in, is my upper lip red? Did cute dude notice that raw patch of skin on my face? Does the entire world now know that, if left unchecked, I will grow a thick and unruly mustache? Etc.
17. Seeing girl who you suspect is seeing your ex.
You’ve already played this out in your head. The “bitch please” look you’ll give her, what you’ll say to her, how you’ll look much better than her. Except when the moment actually comes you look like nothing but a wet dog with your tail between your legs. Your anxiety gets the best of you and all you can muster up is staring at her really creepily from a dark corner.
18. Forgetting to wear a bra to work.
Ever throw on pants and a white top while in a rush to get to work? And then, while at work and inevitably sweating, take off your sweater to reveal the nipple-exposing white top you chose in haste that morning? When I do this I usually notice my blunder halfway through the workday, after all of my co-workers have the braille on my nipples memorized by heart. I recommend going to the bathroom and trying some yoga breathing for 3 minutes. But then you’re at risk of my next anxiety-trigger.
19. Taking a long time in the work bathroom.
Fiery poop or not, when you leave the work bathroom after 15 long minutes, you know everyone suspects. For some reason men just don’t experience shame of this variety. Whereas for women, such a moment gives rise to difficulty breathing and an emergency inhaler.
Heh…cool. If you’re wondering why I’m “heh”-ing it’s because I just saw dude I’m not quite super comfortable with yet move my panties off of his desk, while taking a long hard gander at my discharge stain. And, frankly, I’m exhausted and tired of mumbling excuses and so all I can muster up at this point is a pathetic “heh.”
21. Getting hit on by a girl.
I feel so well versed in rejecting men that, when I get hit on by women (which isn’t often, but still sometimes happens!), I have no idea how to respond. As a fellow woman, I empathize and know that this lady is intrinsically kinder and more rational than any man I’ll ever meet. I don’t want to hurt a fellow lady’s feelings. I’m tempted, but just not physically into it, and so I start to get anxious. Flustered, I’ll usually give her my number while mumbling “I’m straight, but am always down for karaoke” and walking away.
22. New Years without someone to kiss.
Man, having a boyfriend on New Years—there’s just nothing like it! You got yourself a surefire midnight kiss and a stress-free night ahead of you. But if it’s New Years and we’re without boyfriend, then we start to really consider snorting that Klonopin (kidding. Or am I?) During these times Ill put an unreasonable amount of faith in my friends—like, Emily will kiss me right? She can kiss her boyfriend real quick and I’ll be standing awkwardly close to her so she can just turn around and smooch me. Right? Maybe I should first talk to her about it though—you know, come to an agreement so there’s no confusion? But wait—that’s weird. I think I’ll just hide in in the bathroom until it turns 12:02.
23. The urge to be basic bitchy.
No girl wants to be a basic bitch and any signs pointing to the fact that we are will surely send us into a self-analyzing anxiety attack. And yet, as women, our basic bitchy sides inevitably bubble up and beg us to perform. Which is why things like Instagramming our new plant will often make us writhe with paranoia and anxiety—it’s an unequivocal basic bitchy move and yet we just cant stop ourselves from doing it.